Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ghana, when Mobitel was the only telco

In the early '90s, almost all wireless handheld communication devices I saw were -- to me -- walkie-talkies. (Or so I think)

Ghana Telecom (now Vodafone) was the sole telecommunication network in the country. Most people had fixed lines, and that was the bomb.

Then Mobitel happened. In 1992. It officially became Ghana's first cellular phone telco, offering customers the ease of portability with respect to their communication devices (mobile phones).

By the end of 1992, about 19,000 Ghanaians owned mobile phones. The fever had caught on but it was still a 'preserve' of the affluent in society.
The mobile phones were 'huge' in size and weight, as compared to the sleek models floating on the streets of Accra and Kumasi today.
Customers couldn't access the Internet on the network, but were glad to have seamless connectivity with their friends, customers and business associates.

A lot has changed since more telcos entered the market in Ghana, but the era of Mobitel (now Tigo) is a milestone in the country's history.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Typing foreign language accents in a word processor

So I've been trying to study the (Brazilian) Portuguese language for some time now -- still need to learn a LOT! The masculine/feminine articles makes it confusing but interesting. So also is the placement of nouns before adjectives.

I however had a problem when I needed to type Portuguese text in a word processor, until a couple of days ago.

In this post, I share some keyboard short cuts one can use to type accents without resorting to inserting symbols and such.

To do that, one has to use the modifier keys, Ctrl and/or Shift, plus the character that represents the accent, plus the letter which needs the accent.

This is also helpful to those who also study other languages like French, and wish to type words in such languages seamlessly.

Enough said, here are some examples:
Ctrl + , + c = ç.
Ctrl + ' + e = é
Ctrl + Shift + ^ + u = û
Ctrl + ` (under the Esc key)  + e = è
Ctrl + Shift + ~ (under the Esc key) + a = ã
Ctrl + Shift + : + i = ï
Ctrl + / + o = ø

I would like to know your experience. If you have any tricks up your sleeves, do comment below.
I will also like to know your experience with respect to studying a second language.


PS: I also stumbled upon this tutorial that has more information on the typing of accents in word processors. Enjoy

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cold from the riot

"We won't take this any more!", the students shouted angrily. This is the umpteenth time they've seen their Saturday meal for lunch -- beans -- riddled with weevils. The other meals were not that good, but they were better prepared than the beans.
They decided therefore to protest with a riot. (Youthful exuberance at work).

Within minutes the dinning hall was in a mess. The walls had beans smeared on them, tables were overturned and chairs scattered. "Warrior" songs being chanted as they stormed out of the hall and marched to their dormitories.
The house master on duty could do nothing to make them listen to his plea for cool heads to prevail.
Without warning, the students started hurling stones, and breaking the windows and doors of the dormitories. The classrooms met the same fate.

Later, after calm had been restored, these SAME students had no choice but to clean the mess they had created. Silly beings.

Alas, when night approached, they were at the mercy of the cold wind -- no windows or doors to protect them and give them warmth.
If only they had stopped short in their anger before rioting.